Ho-Chunk Nation The Ho-Chunk Nation’s culture and beliefs have sustained them for centuries which make their tribe one of the strongest Native American Tribes in the United States today. Their tribe is made up of 7,071 members, due to the devotion of the tribe elders passing along traditions to the younger generations. Today, the Ho-Chunk Nation is a non-reservation tribe with 3,407 acres of trust land and 5,310 acres of taxable land. The Tribe had to repurchase this land that they once owned from the U. S. Government.
The Ho-Chunk Native Trust Lands are located in: Adams, Clark, Crawford, Dane, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Sauk, Shawano, Vernon and Wood Counties in Wisconsin and also in the State of Illinois. There are also large numbers of tribal members that live in Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago. In 1836, the Ho Chunk was removed from the choice land of southern Wisconsin to make room for the miners that were taking over the land. The area was also in demand for the lush farmland of the various river valleys.
This land was taken from the Ho Chunk for nickels and dimes, and the people were forcibly removed on to Indian reservations in northeastern Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Ho-Chunk elders recall terrifying scenes of tribal members being rounded up at gunpoint and loaded into boxcars against their will. They were shipped to reservations far from the place they called home. Eventually, many Ho-Chunk refused to live on the poor reservations and returned to their homeland in Wisconsin. The native people with an ancestral lineage dating back to pre-history were first known as the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe.
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This name was given to them by early European explorers. In 1994, when the tribe adopted its present constitution, the Nation reclaimed their original name: Ho-Chunk or “People of the Big Voice. ” The Ho-Chunk were avid hunters, gatherers and farmers. They created and became known for their raised garden beds where they grew specialized plants for food. The men hunted while the women gathered. The food consisted of corn, squash, green plants, roots, berries, making maple syrup and maple candy, venison, fresh fish, and small game.
After harvest, the food storage process consisted of drying foods naturally for the long winters. As Caretakers of the land, they moved as the food source did, and during seasons providing the plant life abundant to this region. Villages moved to conserve the area's resources. Their history of living off the land helped the Ho-Chunk develop a unique relationship with Wisconsin’s terrain. Women tanned hides, wove mats from the strong grasses near the waters' edge, made clothing, and taught their daughters.
The grandmothers and grandfathers played an important part in the instruction and rearing of children. The Dagas, or Uncles, were the disciplinarians within a family unit. There was no need for a mother or father to raise their voices, for the practice was to train the children to have such respect for a Daga. The children lived in fear of punishment from their Daga that they were well-mannered and productive children. The Ho-Chunk government provides many services to their tribe. The housing program helps with home ownership and property management.
The education program has four primary school districts in Tomah, Black River Falls, Baraboo, and Wisconsin Dells. The labor program which is a certification of Indian preference for contracting and subcontracting; safety, and they provide supportive services; which helps youth employment. Health services which provide Food Distribution Program, Community Health Representatives, Community Health Nurses, At-Large Health Care, Alcohol/Drug Program, Environmental Health, Benefit Coordinators, Special Diabetes Programs for Indians and a Mental Health Program.
They Also provide services for veterans and social services. Bibliography 1. Wisconsin State Tribal Relations Initiative, Ho-Chunk Nation http://witribes. wi. gov/docview. asp? docid=5638&locid=57 2. Ho-Chunk Nation http://www. ho-chunknation. com/UserFiles/File/OOP/04HCN_mediakit_rtpages_ACT. pdf 3. http://www. mpm. edu/wirp/icw-52. html 4. http://www. wisconsinhistory. org/whspress/pdf/247. pdf
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